Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES)

California Department of Justice’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Effective January 1, 2016, all California-licensed healthcare providers, including physician assistants, authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish, or dispense Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances must be registered to access CURES (as required by California Health and Safety Code Section 11165.1). Registering for CURES access allows the healthcare provider to access patient activity reports before prescribing controlled substances. The current registration process requires the healthcare provider to complete the online application and submit a notarized application as well.

You can start the process by going to https://oag.ca.gov/cures click on the link PDMP Registration, then click on the link for Practitioner, and then follow the instructions to complete the application.

Please note that CURES applicants must complete their registration process by submitting an online registration. Additionally, they must submit a notarized application form (available to print immediately after submitting the online registration), along with the validating documents listed at the top of each application form. Having the following documents available will be helpful to completing the registration application: U.S. Government-issued ID, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Registration, State Professional License (i.e., Physician, Pharmacist, Veterinarian, Physician Assistant, Registered Nurse, etc.) The application must be submitted to the Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigative Services/PDMP, P.O. Box 160447, Sacramento, CA 95816, or electronically in the form of PDF attachments to pmp@doj.ca.gov

Uniform Controlled Substances Act – Health and Safety Code Section 11150

No person other than a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian, or naturopathic doctor acting pursuant to Section 3640.7 of the Business and Professions Code, or pharmacist acting within the scope of a project authorized under Article 1 (commencing with Section 128125) of Chapter 3 of Part 3 of Division 107 or within the scope of Section 4052.1, 4052.2, or 4052.6 of the Business and Professions Code, a registered nurse acting within the scope of a project authorized under Article 1 (commencing with Section 128125) of Chapter 3 of Part 3 of Division 107, a certified nurse-midwife acting within the scope of Section 2746.51 of the Business and Professions Code, a nurse practitioner acting within the scope of Section 2836.1 of the Business and Professions Code, a physician assistant acting within the scope of a project authorized under Article 1 (commencing with Section 128125) of Chapter 3 of Part 3 of Division 107 or Section 3502.1 of the Business and Professions Code, a naturopathic doctor acting within the scope of Section 3640.5 of the Business and Professions Code, or an optometrist acting within the scope of Section 3041 of the Business and Professions Code, or an out-of-state prescriber acting pursuant to Section 4005 of the Business and Professions Code shall write or issue a prescription.

Uniform Controlled Substances Act – Health and Safety Code Section 11165.1

(a) (1) (A) (i) A health care practitioner authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish, or dispense Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV controlled substances pursuant to Section 11150 shall, before January 1, 2016, or upon receipt of a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration, whichever occurs later, submit an application developed by the Department of Justice to obtain approval to access information online regarding the controlled substance history of a patient that is stored on the Internet and maintained within the Department of Justice, and, upon approval, the department shall release to that practitioner the electronic history of controlled substances dispensed to an individual under his or her care based on data contained in the CURES Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

(ii) A pharmacist shall, before January 1, 2016, or upon licensure, whichever occurs later, submit an application developed by the Department of Justice to obtain approval to access information online regarding the controlled substance history of a patient that is stored on the Internet and maintained within the Department of Justice, and, upon approval, the department shall release to that pharmacist the electronic history of controlled substances dispensed to an individual under his or her care based on data contained in the CURES PDMP.

(B) An application may be denied, or a subscriber may be suspended, for reasons which include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) Materially falsifying an application for a subscriber.

(ii) Failure to maintain effective controls for access to the patient activity report.

(iii) Suspended or revoked federal DEA registration.

(iv) Any subscriber who is arrested for a violation of law governing controlled substances or any other law for which the possession or use of a controlled substance is an element of the crime.

(v) Any subscriber accessing information for any other reason than caring for his or her patients.

(C) Any authorized subscriber shall notify the Department of Justice within 30 days of any changes to the subscriber account.

(2) A health care practitioner authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish, or dispense Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV controlled substances pursuant to Section 11150 or a pharmacist shall be deemed to have complied with paragraph (1) if the licensed health care practitioner or pharmacist has been approved to access the CURES database through the process developed pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 209 of the Business and Professions Code.

(b) Any request for, or release of, a controlled substance history pursuant to this section shall be made in accordance with guidelines developed by the Department of Justice.

(c) In order to prevent the inappropriate, improper, or illegal use of Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV controlled substances, the Department of Justice may initiate the referral of the history of controlled substances dispensed to an individual based on data contained in CURES to licensed health care practitioners, pharmacists, or both, providing care or services to the individual.

(d) The history of controlled substances dispensed to an individual based on data contained in CURES that is received by a practitioner or pharmacist from the Department of Justice pursuant to this section shall be considered medical information subject to the provisions of the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act contained in Part 2.6 (commencing with Section 56) of Division 1 of the Civil Code.

(e) Information concerning a patient’s controlled substance history provided to a prescriber or pharmacist pursuant to this section shall include prescriptions for controlled substances listed in Sections 1308.12, 1308.13, and 1308.14 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Cures Update from the Department of Justice